A HISTORY OF SURREY Shalford near Guildford. He or his descendants had a principal castle at Blechingley in the main division of his lands, and a small castle at Ockley close to the Roman road from London to Chichester. He had even larger possessions in other counties, as in Suffolk, where his castle the head of the Honour of Clare gave his family their later name of de Clare. It was perhaps his great position elsewhere which led to a rival being raised to his supremacy in Surrey. In 1075 Richard and William de Warenne were justiciars for the absent King William, and had a great share in putting down the rebellion of earls Ralph and Roger. But in 1078 Richard's second son, Roger de Bienfaite, was involved in the first rebellion in favour of the Conqueror's eldest son Robert; and in 1088, after the death of William, the de Clare castle of Tonbridge was held by the rebels who supported the party of Duke Robert against William Rufus, Gilbert son of Richard being on Robert's side l then and later. His lands however escaped confiscation. It was probably the untrust- worthy attitude of the de Clares which led William Rufus to endow one of the few of the great nobility of the Conquest who had adhered to him with the earldom of Surrey in 1088 or 1089. William de Warenne had already considerable Sussex possessions, besides other estates, and grants in Surrey to him erected a local counterpoise to the power of the de Clares. Gundrada, the wife of de Warenne, was not a daughter of the Conqueror but it is possible that she was his step-daughter, and at any rate the de Warennes had been so far faithful to the king. 2 With the earldom and perhaps its endowment of the 'third penny,' 3 its dignity and share in county government, de Warenne received lands at Reigate, where there was, or was shortly built, a castle, in convenient neighbourhood to de Clare's castle at Blechingley, and probably Dorking, with lands at Betchworth, Shiere and Fetcham, thus including all that had come to the Crown by the death of the queen Edith, widow of the Confessor. These formed the bulk of the lands held subsequently in Surrey of the Honour of Warenne. Their possession by the earl planted a strong rival interest to 1 Henry of Huntingdon. 2 The controversy about Gundrada's parentage is acute and complicated. But at all events there is no reason for calling her King William's daughter, and there is much to be said in favour of her being Matilda's daughter. See Stapleton in Arcbitological Journal, 1 846 ; Freeman, Norman Conquest, vol. iii. appendix O, and in Engfish Historical Review, October, 1888 ; Maiden, History of Surrey, pp. 1012 ; Round, in Complete Peerage, vii. 322. 3 There is an uncertainty about the endowment of the earldom of Surrey. By Close Rolls 40, H. iii. m. xi. it appears that John de Warenne was granted the third penny out of the issues of the county of Surrey, as William de Warenne his father and his other ancestors had it. But by the Placita de Quo Warranto, 7 Ed. I. Exemplification Pat. R. 25 Eliz. July 9, it appears that John de Warenne in 1279 claimed the third penny redditus burgi in the towns of Guildford and Southwark, as belonging to his ancestors, but said nothing about the third penny of the pleas of the county. Moreover I am told by Mr. Round that there is no trace in the Pipe Roll of 1 130 of the payment of the third penny of the pleas of the county to the earl in Surrey, while there is evidence of the payment in some other counties. It appears however that the earls of other counties, Oxfordshire for instance, claimed subse- quently that their ancestors had received the third penny, though no extant grant of it remains nor trace of its payment ; see Round, Geoffrey de Mandeville, App. H, p. 287-96. It seems safe to assume that the earl in Surrey had commonly received the third penny of Guildford and Southwark, and that whatever he said to other people he did not think fit to tell Edward I. that he had an ancestral right to anything else. 340
Page:VCH Surrey 1.djvu/406
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.